Because once again Sweden belongs to the extended group of favourites, this time it’s up to Cornelia Jakobs to fly the flag of the Scandinavian pop factory. The Swedish contribution “Hold Me Closer” seems a bit more organic and raw than those of the past few years. And sung live, the increasing song clearly stood out from the competition, some of whom were splashing along.
The Pole Ochman with his smashing ballad of desperation “River” was also traded as a fixed climber, next to the Greek number “Die Together” from Tuesday the second song with suicidal tendencies, which apparently gets a lot of encouragement. And country is also doubly coupled in the final. Two days after the Icelandic cowgirl sisters Systur, Stefan from Estonia also rode into the top ten of his semi-finals with an Italo-Western melody very “inspired” by Ennio Morricone.
Photo series with 10 pictures
Konstrakta delivered one of the more interesting, albeit slightly unwieldy contributions for Serbia. In “In corpore sano” she philosophized on stage with a towel and washbasin about what is healthy and what is sick – including criticism of the Serbian health system. The courage was rewarded with the climb.
It also goes on for what is probably the best-known band of the evening, The Rasmus from Finland. 20 years after their great success, their rock number “Jezebel” provided enough votes. It is therefore the only rock song that made it into the final: in view of the rather – at least musically – dull other attempts, rightly so.
Exaggerating with measure and purpose
The seminfinal internal race in the text category “I’m very different from the others” was won by the Australian Sheldon Riley with “Not the Same” – and that because, or rather, he was really thick in terms of text and appearance. Israel’s Michael Ben David, on the other hand, had to admit defeat with his song “IM”, which frayed in all directions – perhaps also because he really annoyed the moderator trio and thus the audience during the voting process. The third in this group, Emma Muscat from Malta, was not allowed to borrow the song title “I Am What I Am” and large parts of its melody from other songs with impunity. She probably won this year’s category of the fewest correctly hit notes.
Romania as a little surprise
Back to the other finalists: The times when Azerbaijan was more or less in the top ten with expensive productions seem to be over, but Nadir Rustamli also managed to be there on Saturday with the ballad “Fade to Black”.
Live ticker on ORF.at
The final on Saturday can be seen live from 9 p.m. on ORF1 and in the live stream on tvthek.ORF.at. ORF.at accompanies the competition with a live ticker – including pictures, animated GIFs and social media comments.
This also applies to the Belgian Jeremie Makiese, even if his “Miss You” is reminiscent here and there of Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana” and also borrows from Justin Timberlake. The Czech band We are Domi secured a slot on Saturday with the solid and radio-ready electro-pop number “Lights Off”. And the only small surprise is the final entry of the Romanian WRS, which prevailed with its more danced than sung call to call (“Llamame”).
Achille Lauro has sunk low
Achille Lauro received the biggest grumbling about being eliminated. The Italian rapper very strikingly performed Marilyn Manson for San Marino – including bull riding and kissing men. All of that wasn’t enough for the very conventional rock song “Stripper” – the idea of copying last year’s winner exactly and then being just a little worse never really works.
Photo series with 8 pictures
The Georgian band Circus Mircus was also denied a place in the final, even though a very funny performance in steampunk costumes didn’t help. Their rather intricate song “Lock Me In” doesn’t fit into any song contest category, but at the same time wasn’t catchy enough to make up for it.
With Andrea from North Macedonia, Vladana from Montenegro, Andromache from Cyprus and Brooke from Ireland, four women who started with their first names have to start their journey home. All four songs turned out to be too trivial, Brooke was at least able to bring a little life into the hall with her girlie pop number “That’s Rich”.